May 03, 2024

At 22 years of age, Katherin Echandía has clear goals: to make history in Paris 2024. Venezuela’s outstanding weightlifter in the 49 kg category is an emblem of perseverance and tenacity, and her upcoming participation in the Olympic Games is a living testimony of her firm determination.

At the age of 17, Katherin had among her honors a South American youth gold medal, in addition to her consecration as champion of the Youth Olympic Games, Buenos Aires 2018.

In her passage through her first World Weightlifting World Cup Turmekistan 2018, sshe placed fourth, in the 45 kg division. Then, she added a Bolivarian champion title in Valledupar 2022 and another golden one in South American Games Asuncion 2022.

After a wrist injury, which kept her away from the platforms, Echandia returned to competition at the Pan American Games Santiago 2023, where she won the silver medal, a result that motivated her and gave her the confidence she needed to keep dreaming of her place in Paris.

“I made a bad move to release the bar and I had a crack. The ligament was damaged and the thumb bone was not in place and I had to undergo surgery. There were very sad moments for me, but my mom was watching everything. I was very frustrated. It hit me hard not to be in Tokyo 2020 and I collapsed, but all this forged the athlete I am today,” she added.

On April 1, during the World Championship in Phuket, Thailand, she got the ticket to the maximum universal Parisian event, after finishing the 85 kg snatch, while she lifted 108 kg in the rebound, for a total of 193 kg, earning the pass to Paris 2024, after finishing in the seventh place of the world ranking of the discipline.

“I had too much emotion. I was one foot in and one foot out. This competition was the most important because I had to look for the exact marks and when I made it, I couldn’t believe it. I put the bar down and cried,” she said.

She never lost her faith in God and maintains that her family was the pillar to achieve her goal. “My mom and dad waited at 3:00 am for my competition and when I managed to talk to them they told me that they knew all the sacrifice I had made. They have lived it all with me. They celebrated more than I did, they push me and inspire me.”

Echandia also emphasizes the importance of doing the right psychological work, with specialists to achieve the goals. “Getting professional help is always important. Being in a sports depression is the worst, because you train and things don’t work out and you don’t understand why. I didn’t imagine I was going to go through so many things because there was a season when I wasn’t making progress with my marks. With my injury I also got the motivation. I followed my physical preparation of my legs and I put a world into it. It cost me but all this made me get the best out of me,” he explains.


The venue for the 49 kg competition will be the Arena 6 South in Paris (Paris Expo) on August 7 and Katherin, is ready.

“I will deliver my best version of heart because this is a dream come true. Looking back I am grateful for the support I received. Sometimes we go through difficult things, but those same things forge us as a person and an athlete. All this taught me that pauses are necessary. Processes must be loved, not underestimated or hated. You have to live them, feel every part of them and move forward,” she points out.

Weightlifting at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will bring together 120 athletes. A maximum of 12 weightlifters will compete in each division, two less in each than in Tokyo 2020.

Written by Yanny Figueroa Guevara


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